A Legacy of Love

Dear Dave Behoteguy,

You are the author of a legacy.

Many years ago, you saw a woman, alone and hurting, and took a bold step. It was a step very few people are willing to take. Through constant prayer and loyal friendship, you were an example of love this woman had never seen or known. It didn’t take a day, a week or even a month. But slowly, through perseverance, her heart began to soften toward the idea of Jesus. You refused to give up, and the day she gave her heart to the Lord, you and all of heaven rejoiced, as she was welcomed with open arms into the family of God.

But it didn’t stop there. Let me paint a picture for you. Allow me to take you on a journey.

Sitting in their living room, hand in hand, tears streaming down their lovely faces, that woman and her two daughters discover a newfound love for one another in their commitment to Jesus. The two daughters are pursued by two Godly men, and enter before Christ into marriages to last a lifetime. Loved and cherished by her parents, a two year old bounds down the stairs of her home reciting scripture,  “Happy is the people whose God is the Lord!”. She knows nothing but peace and contentment as her family grows in love. As the years pass, God blesses them infinitely and they in-turn bless others.

That woman you took the time to love, Lorraine Uribe, is quick to utter the precious name of Jesus to everyone she meets. She has led not a few, not dozens, but HUNDREDS of souls to Christ through her infectious kindness, and fearless willingness to follow the prompting of the Father.

The eldest daughter, Julia Tavis, has spent her entire adult life and career striving to do the work and will of Jesus. A friend to the friendless, kind and merciful, she shines righteousness and the goodness of God to all she encounters.

Often on his knees, Peter Tavis, Julia’s husband, embodies the scripture “Seek the Lord, and you shall live.” Gentle and a constant encouragement, he calms and inspires each person he comes around. He works hard for his family and his greatest joy is to see them cared for and succeeding.

The youngest daughter, Janice Broyles, a lymphoma survivor and walking miracle, is a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness and healing. She cares for her family and her students with a seasoned wisdom and warmth that welcomes and draws in everyone around her.

Janice’s husband, Butch Broyles, leads his family with industriousness and strength, loves his wife as Christ loves the church, and raises his children in truth. The example his hard work has been on his children will never end.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Each day, Abigail Broyles shows her eighth grade class that there is no age too young to trust in the Lord and surrender your heart to him.

Thomas Broyles, successful in each endeavor he undertakes, uses the talents the Lord has given him to lead others into worship of the King. Committing himself to excellence, he completes each task as unto the Lord.

Charging ahead of the pack, Montana Tavis is proof that there are youth in this world with wisdom and drive, who take seriously the call of God and do whatever it takes to stand in His will.

About to take a beautiful bride of his own, Samuel Broyles will carry the torch of his family into new territory, keeping the traditions of faith and discipleship in a family of his very own.

Born with a heart that longs to serve others, Ruth Broyles plans to enter the mission field, using her skills as a nurse to surge past the uncertainty of the lost and offer them a love that is even more healing – the unconditional love of Jesus.

A joyful heart wrapped in a beautiful person, Marjorie Tavis, despite bodily hardships, is living life to the fullest as she fights, survives and thrives. She has placed her life trustingly in God’s hands and the Lord has so faithfully touched her physically and spiritually.

And that two year old reciting scripture is me, Miriam Bernard, now a grown woman married to a righteous man with a Godly family of his own. Each day, God grants me the opportunity to love and to mold 23 precious children, and each day He accounts for my many shortcomings with a grace and a peace that surpasses my understanding.

My husband, Eric Bernard, leads a life of unwavering faith and upstanding. His loving heart and mind for business has brought us to a place of peace in God I never knew existed. Each task he puts his hand to is met with great success, for he allows the Lord to be his strength.

But it doesn’t stop there.

On opposite sides of the country and at varying times, these families come together in the name of the Lord. We eat, share and laugh. We lift our voices and sing in praise to Him. We open His Word and ask God to shape us, to challenge us, to change us. Then as a family, we kneel, we call out and attempt with mere, inadequate words to express our appreciation to Jesus for the richness of Love he has poured out on our family. It is so great we will never see the end, nor fully understand it.

But it doesn’t stop there. In fact, it will never stop.

This is my letter of appreciation to you. You saved my life, and the lives of my family. You may never make it into the movies, you may never win a Nobel prize or be the president of the United States, but you began a legacy of love that will continue into eternity. I promise to spend my life taking the steps of boldness you yourself took by faith, so that other families might experience a fraction of the richness of God’s blessings I have experienced in my short 24 years.

You lit a match that started a wildfire. You nurtured a seedling that yielded a great harvest. You dropped a pebble into still water whose ripples are still extending.

“Thank you for giving to the Lord – I am a life that was changed. Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am so glad you gave.” ~ Ray Boltz

In the love and power of Christ,

Miriam Bernard

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julia Tavis
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 22:16:04

    Tears. Streaming. Wow!

    Reply

  2. Jessica Bernard
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 16:22:07

    Well, I’m tempted to praise you for your incredible writing but instead I praise the Lord for using you to touch me and so many others who read this. So, thanks for allowing yourself to be used so we may hear and see God… Love you!

    Reply

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